tv [untitled] December 22, 2011 1:00pm-1:30pm EST
leaders. russia's president orders sweeping with making it easier to iran pork bellies and proposes a return to direct elections of regional governance in his annual address to the palmer. arab league observers arrive in syria as the conflict there reaches all bloody picquet international sanctions cause living conditions to deteriorate. and tightening the noose around america's controversial death penalty the plugs the flow of drugs used to kill u.s. death row inmates.
it's ten pm in moscow good to have you with us here on r.t. our top story it's time for a change in russia this from president dmitry medvedev outlining a plan for widespread democratic reforms with the country's political system first up or he's a carrier of trouble was listening to the annual state of the union address she has this report. first and foremost made from a better promise that people's voices will become louder thanks to sweeping reforms of the country's political system or political stablish meant was listening carefully to his address to the parliament as he sketched out the first steps which need to be taken he plans to bring those initiatives to the newly elected duma in the very near future in the last months of his presidency should the president of the sure my proposals are to introduce direct election to russia's regional heads to simplify the registration of political parties to remove the need to gather
signatures to take part in federal and regional parliamentary elections to cut the number of signatures needed to take part in the presidential election i also suggest changing the system for the parliamentary election i suggest introducing proportional representation in two hundred twenty five constituencies this will allow each territory to have the director representative in the parliament. well this wasn't as comfortable as usual for the nation is that it to deliver these annual address mostly because who had to respond to the most recent events in a country protests and allegations which followed the december of four parliamentary elections and claims that the elections had been had been raked early admission of it if at ordered a thorough investigation as a result of that criminal cases had been filed for alleged violations during the elections the results of twenty one polling stations cancelled but the president stressed today that elections in any country are part of domestic affairs of that
country and the russian leadership would not allow any foreign interference but our . people's right to express their opinion by all means is guaranteed but attempts to manipulate the people of russia deceive them to instigate social discord are acceptable but we won't allow extreme. to prove a case is to draw society into the shady enterprises we won't allow interference from outside in our internal affairs russia at least democracy not chaos. polls well this address looked more like a long to do. should he become the country's next prime minister rather than a farewell address from him as president he again emphasized the role of the enlarged open government as an instrument to get feedback from the people this government consists of precious prominent figures from different areas of society it wasn't and he described it today as an social elevator for the most creative and
active ones and he also quoted eisenhower when he was talking about a model of democracy to vote for russia it's not let the government do it for us he said but let us do it ourselves. the other key focus of medicine dress was economic reform more on that coming up in a few minutes. acknowledging the fact that russia's economy needs more integration competition and contribution from small business dmitri medvedev said that russia's economy is in good health and is back to pre-crisis levels more of this business report in fifteen minutes. but first a team of arab league peace monitors has arrived in syria as part of an ambitious plan to bring peace to the conflict torn nation the arrival comes the violence is reaching a peak with hundreds reportedly killed in recent days latest round of violence has drawn strong international reaction with turkey accusing president assad of turning the nation into a bloodbath the u.s.
is also renewing calls for him to step down and ordered the military off the streets or face more international measures syria is already suffering under a slew of economic and a regional sanctions but as often happens it's the ordinary people feeling that pain as r.t. sara for a report from damascus. it's been nearly ten months there is that rising began the capital of damascus is remaining r.c.c. . also from the conflict. in the bustling side and say it seems like it's business as usual as one says the winds of change have begun to flow a little stronger the arab league's imposed tough economic sanctions the effects of which have been felt even head in a poor area in the suburbs of damascus and her family struggling to make ends meet her son here has learning difficulties fava beans for a living but he barely makes one hundred fifty syrian pounds a day three dollars to support him and his wife and now the fuel for his vending
cart has become harder to get hold of with the economic sanctions driving the price up. there are less products available and the prices are pushed higher there's been fights over gas we've been trying to manage by cutting back as much as we can sometimes when we can't afford it which is don't eat. the economic situation in syria was one of the areas president had been seen to be making some progress be it slowly the for a population that it started seeing the results of economic opportunities a. financial transactions. have blackouts become the new. they could be even. the heads. because of the economic sanctions people. people are a little bit afraid of the fact that water or gas might run out and this is why you see these queues this in place by the arab league it is take the sanctions with
full hand when it came to ending the violence in the country but inside syria the name and many feel is every day people being punished. for one hit. many people here in. the arab league will be paving the way for an observer mission at the end of the month. position they remain skeptical about whether that to bring about any change. in the west of the conflict areas changed. it's imperative to the families like. finding life under the sanctions increasingly desperate search. damascus. commenting on the situation in syria new york based author and political analyst eva golinger thinks. she believes the true situation in the country is not being
told by the main stream media. most of the international media with the exception of a few stations have ignored the fact that. the government is fighting armed groups internally and it's country groups that have been armed again by outside forces and they've instead tried to portray it as civilians peaceful civilians protesting for change in their country who are being massacred by the government this is an incredibly dangerous manipulation of fact that's occurring and and that we've seen in other countries like the case of libya that's being used to justify outside aggression military action and war and and political assassination of a head of state again this is an attempt to try to alter the perception of what's taking place in the country and also to get the support from other countries on board for those countries and their governments to be able to justify their actions to overthrow a government to implement another that would be subordinate to a foreign agenda. later in the program we were turned where the very first sparks
of on the rest ignited north africa in the middle east giving birth to the arab spring. i was told and it was known. as the nude in a place like toughness from one system to another change to. our middle east correspondent discusses what it was like at the epicenter of events that shook the entire region this year our latest episode of aarti special series testimony twenty eleven coming your way in a few minutes. witnesses. to history in the making. testimony. ten stories that shaped two thousand and eleven on r.t. . the european union has restricted sales of drugs used in the u.s. to execute convicts more than forty death row inmates have been killed by lethal injection in america this year alone supporters of the move to disrupt supplies hope will cut that number but as for better of course restrictions could actually
make the situation worse. they've tried hanging electrocution and most recently a drug used to euthanize animals but now american jails will find it much harder to kill prisoners on death row the main supply line for its lethal injections has been cut off after the e.u. slaps new restrictions on drug exports i really think this will make a difference and we will see the effects of this this control order in the coming months that the the u.s. allies on european drugs for use of executions and without them they're going to be stuck and lives will be saved specifically execution drugs aren't made in the e.u. but several american states have been importing sedatives instead drugs designed to help being used to hurt. exports of drugs like sodium thiopental will now be controlled to stop they use in a three part lethal cocktail the in
a static was being used to put the condemned inmate to sleep as another drug paralyzed before the final heart stopper was administered without that initial numbing stage lethal injections are unconstitutional under u.s. law the usual supply for these drugs has been dwindling since the only u.s. manufacturers ceased production last year american prisons though found an alternative source right here in west london at this fairly unassuming driving school the buildings also shared by dream farmer a british firm exporting british drugs the us prisons to kill people the u.k. government soon found out and banned its use so american prisons searched elsewhere r.t. reported in may how some states have begun using pen to barbara told a drug normally used to put pets to sleep that's never been tested for human executions its primary use for humans is to treat epilepsy but it has no pain
killing properties many feel its use on death throes tantamount to torture this can cause excruciating pain if something goes wrong and because we have no tests we cannot guarantee that nothing will go around so people are at risk of not just being killed being tortured to death following our report danish manufacturer impose their own restrictions to prevent printed barber tools misuse the new e.u. embargo covers eight barbiturates in total including pain to. us stockpiles will eventually run dry but many fear it's only a matter of time before prisons try again with something else unfortunately the death merchants in the us can sometimes be creative in terms of what they put to use in order to put people to death and so i think what we need is a clause which said if other drugs should appear on the market and we discover that the u.s. is misuse. those we can quickly have a quick procedure at the list that you know we you know the aside from lethal
injection other methods like hanging in firing squad and still sanctioned in the u.s. but in now rarely used these new restrictions may not choke off the drug supply completely but it will certainly talk to the noose on america's controversial death penalty. by the bennetts see london a wave of synchronized bombings has torn through your rocky capital killing at least sixty five people and wounding almost two hundred ambulances could be heard racing back and forth as massive plumes of smoke rose above baghdad authorities say at least fourteen devices went off throughout the city ranging from car bombs to hidden explosives another blast took place outside of a cafe in the capital later in the day it's been less than a week since u.s. forces withdrew from iraq leaving behind an air of uncertainty in the surging religious tension from war on the drug what it bodes for the country and joined live by phyllis bennis director of the institute for policy studies thanks for being with us here on r t the bombings today were timed in position for
a maximum impact airing the rush hour in baghdad who do you think is benefiting from such seemingly senseless slaughter. i don't think anyone benefits certainly there are political forces in iraq that are committed to a kind of sectarian battle continuing in the wake of the withdrawal of u.s. troops but i don't think we can say that anyone actually benefits certainly not any community there has been under way in iraq with a rising level of sectarian tension much of it being stoked i think by the u.s. backed government of prime minister maliki and with the withdrawal of the last batch of u.s. troops despite the remaining thousands of u.s. paid contractors it was a moment when it looks like there's a lot of evidence that maliki may be trying to consolidate his version of shiite domination over the sunni community. i understand there's also the evidence of
a power struggle behind the scenes in iraq between the prime minister and the vice president there do you think that also is littlefield fueled by the sectarian faction in fighting that's going on. well certainly there's a sectarian background to all of this political fighting in iraq and that's very much rooted in the role of the united states in the original invasion and occupation of iraq the u.s. brought into being a level of sectarian discord and ultimately sectarian fighting that had not been the case in iraq prior to the u.s. invasion so i think we have to link this very closely to the role of the u.s. in the invasion and occupation that began in two thousand and three the fact that u.s. troops are being withdrawn now doesn't mean that the consequences of those years of occupation simply disappear those consequences are remaining and in fact getting worse now brutalize he was saddam hussein did keep in his authoritarian way kind of
a lid on the sectarian situation in the country now and now that the lid is kind of off is this something that was inevitable to happen in the wake of that regime. i don't think so the u.s. very consciously created a governing structure in iraq with its occupation that was based on sectarian divide it was based on sectarian identity that had not been primary in iraq this wasn't a question of sectarian identities being primary and saddam hussein barely kept the lid on it prevented it from boiling over this was an identity that was primarily national for a whole generation or more it's only with the creation by the us quite consciously of a sectarian defined set of governing structures with the kurds having a largely autonomy as region in the in the north and then a divide between sunni and shia with the minority groups the christians and others
being essential be written out of the question the us backed the shia majority in a way that almost guaranteed that the sunni the sunni minority a large minority was going to feel that they were being excluded from political power and that set the stage for this kind of sectarian battle that we've been seeing for so long now. so with the u.s. presence in the region providing a kind of stabilization keeping sunis and shias from going at each other do you think it would make sense for a u.s. presence to continue or return to iraq do you think that would be preferable to a current situation that could lead to possible down the line something like civil war. i think that the worst thing that could happen would be a return to u.s. occupation that's what led to this level of of of sectarian divide in the first place that is the wrong approach i think that what is needed is a full withdrawal of the u.s. troops not only from iraqi territory but from what they like to call over the
horizon we now have thousands of u.s. troops poised at new u.s. bases in kuwait on ships on the coast and ready to move back in that's a very threatening environment as well as threatening of course to iraq's neighbors most notably iran this is not a stabilizing force it never has been i don't accept the premise that the us occupation force has provided stability if we look at what happened in two thousand and six two thousand and seven at the height of the u.s. occupation that was the year the the two years or so of the worst kind of sectarian warfare that iraq has ever seen so certainly the u.s. presence is not something that provides a level of stability for the people of iraq it has made it worse for iraqis what needs to happen now there needs to be clear pressure put on the government who is there by virtue of his being backed militarily and economically by the united
states to make clear that this kind of sectarian pressure games are simply not going to be acceptable the u.s. having withdrawn its troops still has enormous capacity to pressure that regime the government of iraq has ordered for example f. sixteen fighter bombers which they certainly don't need to protect themselves i don't think that that sale should have gone through in the first place but since it did the u.s. can certainly use it as a means of pressuring the government to stop this kind of sectarian divide that the government is clearly moving forward all right we have to leave it there phyllis bennis director of the institute for policy studies frankfurter. thank you. all right now we're going to take a look back continue our look back at the last year with our tease ten reports of the events that shaped two thousand and eleven today egypt a country where a million man uprising became a springboard for a tide of riots and protests artie's paullus leader shares what she went through
reporting from the heart of the arab spring. i think my biggest impression from covering the egyptian story this is the status of the trail and the anger that people in egypt still have there are hundreds of thousands of people moscow right now in times square as you can see many of them heating oil and occupation it was dangerous covering the egypt story as a journalist and i think it was even more dangerous because when that as a foreign journalist i remember when we gave him safe newsweek we kept a very low profile we tried not to go too much into the quality tough to square we took all kinds of signage that we had on us that said we were journalists i mean of course a con tied to camera so by and large you don't want to do more attention to me than is necessary the officers from which we were for cost and we took off all the signs
that said that we were media because this was also was inside some anger and frustration among the people. people often ask me if being a woman is an advantage or disadvantage to going to dangerous areas as a journalist most of the time that is an advantage because we find that people have to shake things mode with you i'm talking to men and women because you're a woman and you laced with me perhaps in a male colleague but i do feel frightened being a woman in tough experience the people you know. they believe in they'd be replaced one dictator hosni mubarak one cannot i can tell me that anything i'd look for toughness square i walk through a female target whether it was an egyptian cameramen away russian cameramen and i always felt much safer putting my arm through his but people would still will possibly brush squeeze a part of my body and look at me with this kind of nearing that leaves you feel very frightened and very vulnerable as a woman. back in february when the police were taken off the streets there was
a real. in cairo and i remember doing a lot of reports at night. and i know how to. attack guests and certainly at night i had to move back to the hotel because there was a curfew and there were no cars on the street and it was almost surreal looking possed apartment buildings and seeing people coming in front of the apartment buildings that had formed a kind of nightwatch group and you had people in their eighty's and their ninety's standing there with literally a kitchen knife or a kitchen broom and with that they were going to protect their apartments following these gangs that were patrolling the streets of cairo they were trying to steal what they could because as i say there were no police around this is your friend. there was one incident or two was very frightened and we were standing on the outskirts of the square i was talking to people and as always had to just speak to
one person and then everybody comes to see what's happening and and people in the ratings really angry so it's not that they are listening to what's being said often they just want to get a voice is exposed on the thames. and in the moment and that's and that's the scary part is that these things happen in a moment in a moment in time to move change and people started yelling and shouting not that they just wanted their voices to be heard but that the extra time to prove to us as journalists and being come in and i was working with understood immediately both was happening he started screaming for me to get into the cockpit i remember the drive that because we had a driver that had been allocated to us came screeching down the road i mean looking pushed the crowd and the journalist was pushing me into the common they getting into the car he kind of flung himself in off to me in the car was banging on the cot as we sped away. and i don't even know if the word revolution is there why would but i don't think the resolution in egypt is over. just to save perhaps the
same with aleutian or two revolutions but again the anger the frustration the disappointment of hopes of not being realized is palpable on the streets of cairo even when there is a sense that this country is nowhere near where people had hoped and dreamed it would be back in february and i think this is the general uncertainty that is sweeping the middle east there is a sense things are changing in another sense of no one not knowing exactly where and how and what ultimately these changes will bring. the artery curry's got more reports you can see every day until the new year more memories of twenty eleven theater experience still to come on our t.v. so stay with us. business news next with dmitri stay with us here on r.t. .
to you in a warm welcome to business our economic achievements are high on president better gender and in the spotlight of his address to the federal assembly on thursday with his term as president is coming to an end he pointed out that the russian economy has managed to grow faster than its peers despite the global slowdown. in the russia has successfully overcome the most difficult period of global economic instability and has returned to pre-crisis growth levels our economy is growing by around four percent which is for most of the most developed countries we keep government debt that's a very low level. abilities russia has become the world's sixth largest economy. now the rest of president a bed of speech centered around top economic priorities for the coming years these include integration boosting competition and then tracing the role of small business economists jacob knell from morgan stanley russia believes middle of speech echoes recent statements from prime minister buddy put. what i see is
a combined effort by both of them to articulate a economic and political reform program i think that if we think back to earlier in the year when you had a debate between medvedev who was talking about a program of reform and modernization and putin who is putting more stress on stability i think that we can all see what the choice of the leadership is and that is to go for a program of modernization short the impact of these reforms may be somewhat negative because we may see acceleration capital outflows in companies who may have an increase in uncertainty but in the medium term if these reforms are implemented i think that they. should improve russia's growth prospects and make the realization of the top line objectives of the reform program which are twenty five
percent of g.d.p. in investment and six to seven percent growth rate that much more realizable. a quick look at the stock markets here in russia now and as jobless claims came in on a decline in the u.s. and oil prices remain high russia's markets posted gains on thursday the r.t.s. putting on one percent almost in my socks off by just a notch because they're going to main movers on the markets energy shares were up gazprom eighteen point six percent d.t.b. continued his decline down point six percent for the bank and after of ours was up most of the day but ended on a negative note despite releasing its new model not a ground. the podium of global oil majors is witness to reshuffle as russia's role became the biggest oil producer among public companies during the first nine months of the yeah it has produced one point six million tons move the oil and its previous leader exxon mobil on the say the output of the us from was hit by our bread lucia's were said to an eighteen percent loss of its world production region
meanwhile rules nafta raised its output by two and a half a sentence twenty eleven and hopes to increase it by another one point two percent next year it's also planning to boost investment by fifty five percent in order to upgrade its profile. as a business desk for now coming up next i'll see the headline.